Yup, got the map out, and planned my trip to Phuket, Thailand.
After much convincing…I was accompanied by three other good friends of mine.
The Tiger Explorer XC ABS that I reviewed came in matt khaki green thus giving the ‘adventure’ look.
The green colour further enhanced the bike line and making it look ‘muscular’.
I just love the green colour.
In fact I decided to name this “soldier” Green Beret.
By the way the XC is referred to cross country.
My trip to Phuket kicked off from Kuala Lumpur and crossed Juru, Wang Kelian, Trang and Krabi.
On the way back to Kuala Lumpur, we also stopped by Danok, covering about 2,100km through rain and shine.
On a long journey like this, comfortable seats are very important and the Explorer XC offered me just that.
Throughout my journey my cheek bums were happy, the ergonomics of the bike was fantastic. The saddle was not too soft or too firm; it was spot on.
No limb of mine was tired at all.
In fact, I was more than happy to chew more kilometres if not for my work that pays my bills.
The saddle height is easily adjustable-840mm to 860mm.
The Tiger Explorer, which uses on 1,215cc engine, comes with an adjustable screen, which gave my head good protection from the wind, and a luggage rack and a power socket.
And not to forget the practical and useful riders aides like the air temperature indicator, anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control, gear indicator, average speed/fuel consumption and remaining fuel range.
I must point out that, while riding in heavy rain; it was close to impossible to read the numbers on the digital clock which is on the top hand left corner of the LCD screen.
The numbers were just too small.
On the Haadyai highway, I was riding comfortably at par with a Honda CBR1000 at high speed (my short acquaintance with the CBR started at 120kph on the Haadyai Highway) without any stress.
I felt like I was on a sports bike when I was next to the CBR.
The Tiger Explorer oozes abundance of torque, which is available at the lower end of the rev range making it easy for me to overtake and challenge the CBR on the first three gears.
The ‘Green Beret’s gear shifts were fast and smooth giving me all the confidence I need to enter and exit corners with my eyes closed — you know what I mean.
Heat management on this bike especially on my trip to Phuket and back to KL was great.
I did not feel any heat on the inner sides of my legs.
While in the heart of KL and Phuket, I did not feel the heat too even when I was doing between 40-60kph.
I was enjoying every bit of my ride unlike my other partners on their easy riders were complaining how hot their legs were getting.
Well…what can I say, get the ‘Green Beret’ bros.
On my way from Phuket to Danok, I decided to divert off the highway onto a dirt road.
The Explorer proved worthy on the off roads filled with loose pebbles, stones and red earth.
The Explorer glided confidently and was able to hold the terrain well.
During my short adventure off-road, I came to face-to-face with a stretch strewn with loose pebbles and sand.
I was able to manoeuvre the bike out of there like a pro with a light progressive squeeze on the throttle.
I was very proud of myself.
I found the chassis of Green Beret satisfying.
The Tiger Explorer is not a light weight machine but I am able to handle it with ease despite weighing 267kg.
I was able to flip the bike at every corner and bend on the back roads of Thailand and was complemented by a good suspension.
The suspension was not too hard, too lazy or too firm.
I was cushioned quite well by the humps and bumps.
On a few sudden braking occasions, there were light lunges from the front end.
Nothing serious but the engineers at Triumph must look into this to ensure a better experience especially if one decides to venture offroad.
Braking is taken care by a pair of 4-piston callipers and twin 305mm discs at the front backed up by a single rear disc, all controlled by an advanced, switchable electronic ABS system.
The Explorer is such an easy, natural handling bike. I felt surefooted on this fella; be it offroad, on back roads, wet highways or corners.
I urge newbies and veterans to take a test ride on an Explorer XC and you will agree with me that this is an easy to handle machine.
If you are in for a quickie or the long haul, the Explorer will excite and thrill you beyond words.
I would safely call it a “Swiss Army Knife” simply because of the “multi-purpose” ability of the bike.